A traffic cop in the Free State was sentenced to pay a R10 000 fine or serve 10 years in prison, wholly suspended for five years.
Tshepiso Confidence Ramatlakane, 31, had pleaded guilty to a charge of corruption in relation to an incident where he demanded R5 000 from a public transport operator to release an impounded vehicle and return confiscated documents.
He was arrested after the public transport operator complained that traffic officers had stopped her vehicle, confiscated her driver’s licence, operating disc and impounded the vehicle.
The complainant had offered Ramatlakane R2 000, but he demanded R3 000 more, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said in a statement.
Ramatlakane was arrested immediately after receiving the bribe and the money was found in her possession.
Her sentence is suspended for five years, on condition she not be convicted for a similar offence in that time period.
The RTMC’s Simon Zwane said the corporation was disappointed at the sentence, saying bribery was considered a serious crime which deserved a tough sentence.
“Suspended sentences in cases of corruption by traffic officer do not send a strong message,” Zwane said.
“… we see the devastating impact of corruption daily on our roads. South Africa has unacceptably high levels of road fatalities and corruption is one of the contributing factors to this carnage.”